Americans aged 75 and over are re-entering the workforce in large numbers, with an expected increase of 96.5% by 2030. With 10,000+ people reaching traditional retirement age daily, a large and experienced talent pool is emerging in our economy.
Two general categories of post-retirement-age workers are emerging: Voluntary and Involuntary. Voluntary Senior Workers spent a lifetime planning and saving, eventually achieving true Financial Independence commensurate with their lifestyle desires. They could (or did) retire safely and comfortably, but many decide to continue (or restart) working for other reasons.
Involuntarily Senior Workers are what I call Retirement Wannabees. This group remains in the workforce to pay their bills, which becomes more difficult daily, due to elevated inflation. Either way, employers are grateful for the very existence of this growing workforce pool. Employers believe that experienced workers are generally more reliable than younger employees.
Retirement Wannabees are found in many situations. People who subscribe to the hype called “Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE)” believe outlandish promises and ridiculous assumptions made by their gurus. FIRE supporters are instructed to live on a veritable shoestring while young, saving huge percentages of income for “retirement.” Perhaps this sounds enticing (and maybe even possible) to some, but it simply is not practical. Nor is the “do without” lifestyle needed to achieve the impractical goals of FIRE.
In fact, kick the tires on any of the FIRE guides, and you will find one universal similarity – they end up advocating working after retirement. So, the secret to stopping work at an early age is to ……. work? Why are we wasting time reading this tripe?
Aside from pure financial aspects of working later in life, stimulation of mind and body can lend meaning and interest to our “out years.” Getting back into society, interacting with people, exercising body and mind, all can and do contribute to the quality of life. The extra money is, of course, also welcome.
Obviously, arriving at the category of Involuntary Senior Worker is disappointing. Preventing this situation takes a long time, careful planning, and successful investing. Start saving early, work with a qualified Financial Planner, and avoid large, costly mistakes, and you will likely get your choice.
Either way, employers will be happy to meet you.
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